Greece Yacht Taxes Drive Boats to Neighboring Countries

February 24, 2012

It seems that whoever will be heading for the Mediterranean this winter to moor their yachts, might be doing a little bit of research in advance, otherwise they will end up with a bigger hole in their budget than they’d bargained.

Italy just recently passed a yacht berthing tax that will have probably the same effect that the Greek version (in effect since 2009) had on local marinas and harbors. Where before 2009 Greece was one of the main countries for yacht owners to winter their boats, after the tax was imposed about 4000 Greek yacht owners moved their boats from circulation. This does not include the numerous foreign yacht owners who previously chose Greece to station their boats but now turned to other neighboring countries such as Turkey or Montenegro.

The recent figures show a 25% decline in moored boats in Greek marinas which translate into large sums of money being lost by the local government. Stavros Katsikadis, the President of the Greek Marinas Association said that “over the past three years, the Greek state has missed out on revenues amounting to at least 120 million euros because of the slump in activity in the yachting sector.”

In order to balance this, the state imposed the law 3790/2009 which imposed a special tax on private and professional pleasure craft which levied additional funds. This means that yacht owners who choose to moor in Greece will pay important sums. When you add the high value-added tax which was raised to 23% in an effort to get more money from the population and the extensive red tape, the outcome is a pretty bleak picture for those who used Greek marinas as a winter place.

The specialists believe that all these measures that were meant to improve tax income on yachts have done nothing but drive regular customers to neighboring countries, especially Turkey which seems to be profiting from this judging by the ever increasing number of marinas being built over there.

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